The Esquire, Part II

My next post will discuss my fascination with a certain Tipsy Texan drink I had at the Esquire and the different versions I have tried since tasting it there first. Stay tuned for that one, though. For this post, I will discuss the other drinks I tried there.

First, I went for a late lunch with my two older children (4 and 6) who are not really that old. It didn’t matter. We sat out back and enjoyed the metal deck overlooking people walking and boating by. It was idyllic. The waiter, some young blonde guy, was great, and everyone was friendly. We had fried fish sticks, which were incredible, with a great aioli. The fish was fresh, and I loved every bite. My two girls couldn’t get enough of it, either. What they really loved, though, were the fries: parboiled, fried several times, with a nice set of spices on them and a delicious cumin ketchup. We were in love. The food was excellent–fresh, spiced well, perfectly cooked, and fit well with the atmosphere.

I ordered the girls a Jarritos Grapefruit Soda, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to drink when the waiter suggested the Moscow Mule. “It’s our most popular,” he told me. For $6 I figured I would try it. Cheapest thing on the drink menu, after all.

It comes in the real Moscow Mule mug, the copper mug with the bucking mule on the side that gets really, really cold. I have made my own Moscow Mules, with Seagram’s Ginger Ale, which was terrible, and then with my own ginger beer, which was pretty good, but this Mule was the best I have ever had. I asked Jeret Pena, the head barman, if he had any special ingredients for the ginger beer, and he said, “Nope, just ginger.” A lot of it, too. It inspired me to make my own last night, which turned out pretty well. I still put some mint and cinnamon in mine, but a lot of ginger, and a lot of sugar makes for a good ginger beer. Forget the jalapeno and cucumber like some people recommend. Keep it simple, and it works.

That same evening, I went back for more, and Leighton made me a Red Hook. It’s a famous drink that I have, well, never heard of, being the wannabee that I am. When I saw him pouring maraschino liqueur, I told him to go easy. I should have known Leighton knew what he was doing. 2 ounces of rye, 1/2 oz of Dolin sweet vermouth, and 1/4 oz of maraschino later, I knew he knew what he was doing.

At the end of the night, I actually went back to the Chingoni, which I talked about last post. That drink was oh so good.

Tomorrow, the hair of the dog cocktail, Tipsy Texan style.

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